The creative writer’s toolbox

This will be a fairly basic introduction to using e-tools for creative writing. With advancing technology, you can’t just rely on traditional pen and paper for your ideas. If you know how to use it correctly, technology can prove very useful when writing your story.

1. Storybook

One of the most comprehensive creative writing tools you’ll ever encounter. You can create character profiles, generate scene descriptions – with locations, objects, items and characters in it. You divide your book up into parts, scenes and chapters and describe what’ll happen and who will be there. As for characters, you generate a series of categories, such as religion, age, gender, appearance and any skills/talents. Whether they are a major or minor character is significant. great for longer pieces of work like novels and plays.

2. Ginger

It’s a more advanced version of the built-in spellchecker. You can get it free, and it’ll check spelling and grammar mistakes, along with rephrasing sentences. It’s best used as a companion with grammar and writing style books, along with a good dictionary.

3. Pinterest

The whole point of Pinterest seems to be that you create pinboards which are interesting; moodboards, so to speak. However, a much more efficient way of using this tool is by pinning boards by other people  to your page, so you can generate ideas. In the same way that twitter works best if you follow other pages – The Independent, for instance – because it’s basically an interactive news feed and debate, not an online diary. This is why some people get annoyed at celebs for tweeting “having a banana milkshake in a cabana #sunshine”, because it’s unengaging and very, very random.

4. I write like analyzer

This will help you find out what your style of writing is. Just find their website, copy and paste your text into the box and it will tell you who it thinks you write like. You get a different result depending on which passage you put in. Various writers who arrive are James Joyce, William Gibson and Stephanie Meyer. On the surface, this is a fairly humorous tool for fun. But, if you read the author’s handwriting or google them, you will find out about their genre, motifs and techniques being used.

5. Evernote

This can be used alongside Pinterest. On the surface, it seems like another redundant tool that you will never use. However, you can create notebooks in it and the webclipper might be good for flashes of inspiration.

6. Photoshop?

Okay, this probably has its most use for creating a book cover. It won’t help you brainstorm or flesh out scenes or characters, but it’s cheaper than an expensive photographer. If any of your friends have Photoshop or are photographers, get in touch with them.

And tools you’ve completely overlooked….

7. Notes

Yep, your smartphone or iPad’s notepad feature is pretty cool. Plus, it’s free and pre-installed on your device. You can just randomly write out scenes or brainstorm your ideas. you can just open it up and type away.

8. The comments section in Pages/Word

Yep, if anyone highlights where to improve, you can make a comment of it to come back to. Editors use it, as do tutors if you’re on a degree or creative writing course. It’s usually overlooked, but can be found in Review>Add comment in word.

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